Understanding Female Hormonal Health

With 70% of my clients being female, I’m proud to have completed Pacific Rim College’s “An Integrated Approach to Female Hormonal Health” course.

The endocrine system is like an orchestra – everything works together as one. But when one or more of the endocrine glands are not functioning properly (hormonal imbalance), it causes symptoms that vary according to which gland is affected in females.

The symptoms more frequently include:

  • mood swings
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • irregular menstrual cycle
  • infertility
  • pain in the abdomen or the back during menstruation
  • low sex drive
  • insomnia
  • unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • brittle bones
  • excessive hair growth
  • rashes on the skin

Causes of hormonal imbalance:

  • chronic stress
  • poor diet and nutrition 
  • being overweight
  • hormonal replacement or birth control medications
  • misuse of anabolic steroid medications
  • exposure to toxins, pollutants, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides
  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • hormone replacement or birth control medications
  • primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) Trusted Source
  • ovarian trusted source cancer

Females are likely to develop different hormonal imbalance disorders than males because they have different endocrine organs and cycles. Hormonal imbalances are more common during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and aging. But some people experience continual, irregular hormonal imbalances.

Testing for hormonal imbalances depends largely on what condition your doctor may think is causing your condition. Some of the tests a doctor may use include:

  • Blood testing: Doctors can test for certain hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, or thyroid hormone.
  • Imaging: Doctors imaging studies, such as ultrasound, X-ray, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests to identify cysts or tumors that could cause the body to produce excess amounts of hormones.
  • Urine testing: Doctors use urine tests to measure levels of hormones related specifically to the menstrual cycle, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Some at-home testing kit companies may offer products that allow a person to take a test at home. These could include urine or blood tests. A person should ensure the company is reputable and uses certified laboratories to evaluate testing samples.

Treatment for hormonal imbalances may vary depending on the cause. Every person may require different types of treatment for hormonal imbalances.

Lifestyle changes that may help reduce the likelihood and symptoms of hormonal imbalances include:

  • maintaining a moderate body weight
  • eating a nutritious and balanced diet
  • exercising regularly
  • practicing good personal hygiene, focusing on washing areas with a lot of natural oils, such as the face, neck, back, and chest
  • using OTC acne washes, rinses, and medicated creams or gels for minor to moderate acne
  • avoiding triggers that cause hot flashes, such as warm weather and spicy, rich, or hot foods and drinks
  • reducing and managing stress
  • practicing yoga, meditation, or guided visualization
  • limiting sugary foods and refined carbohydrates
  • avoiding packaged foods
  • replacing older non-stick pans with ceramic pans
  • using glass containers to store and heat foods and drinks
  • restricting the use of cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals, such as bleach
  • buying fruits and vegetables free from pesticides or ripening chemicals
  • avoiding microwaving foods and drinks in plastic containers

About Author
Jack Witt